While walking down the aisle all those years ago, you never envisioned someday walking in a different direction. But even in the midst of your divorce, you can still make this hard time easier on your child.

Get emotional support from family members, friends, not your child

Discussing financial or emotional woes with your 9-year-old benefits no one, least of all your 9-year-old. Call a friend or a family member to discuss these types of subjects, preferably when your child is not in earshot. If you need to get counseling, get counseling. If you’re religious and talking with a clergy member is helpful to you, reach for that option. But don’t let your 9-year-old be the therapist, even if they want to be. We are also always here to help with all things pertaining to legal counsel.

Maintain your child’s daily schedule as best as you can

Do the best that you can to have your child’s schedule stay the same. If your daughter has ballet on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and you’ve always been the one to pick her up from class, keep picking her up. If your ex was the one to take your child out for pizza and ice cream on Fridays to celebrate the week, keep that tradition going. Any positive things that can remain in your child’s normal schedule in a time that is not normal, hold tight to those things.

Find extra ways to show love to your child, and let your ex love them, too

Give extra hugs to your child, write cards to stick in their lunchboxes, make their favorite meal on a Tuesday for no other reason than to make their favorite meal on a Tuesday. And let your ex love them, too.

Allow your child to call your ex with a homework problem, especially if your ex is the one who was always good at math. Be kind and cordial while coordinating events you both will attend such as soccer games or dance recitals. Don’t rush the goodbye your child gives to your ex during dropoff.

Children need love from both parents.You loved them before together; keep loving them together separately.